Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

PloS One


The use of topical and oral adenosine derivatives in HIV prevention that need to be maintained in tissues and cells at effective levels to prevent transmission prompted us to ask whether estradiol could influence the regulation of catabolic nucleotidase enzymes in epithelial cells and fibroblasts from the upper and lower female reproductive tract (FRT) as these might affect cellular TFV-DP levels. Epithelial cells and fibroblasts were isolated from endometrium (EM), endocervix (CX) and ectocervix (ECX) tissues from hysterectomy patients, grown to confluence and treated with or without estradiol prior to RNA isolation. The expression of nucleotidase (NT) genes was measurable by RT-PCR in epithelial cells and fibroblasts from all FRT tissues. To determine if sex hormones have the potential to regulate NT, we evaluated NT gene expression and NT biological activity in FRT cells following hormone treatment. Estradiol increased expression of Cytosolic 5 9 -nucleotidase after 2 or 4 h in endometrial epithelial cells but not epithelial cells or fibroblasts from other sites. In studies using a modified 5 9 - Nucleotidase biological assay for nucleotidases, estradiol increased NT activity in epithelial cells and fibroblasts from the EM, CX and ECX at 24 and 48 h. In related studies, HUVEC primary cells and a HUVEC cell line were unresponsive to estradiol in terms of nucleotidase expression or biological activity. Our findings of an increase in nucleotidase expression and biological activity induced by estradiol do not directly assess changes in microbicide metabolism. However, they do suggest that when estradiol levels are elevated during the menstrual cycle, FRT epithelial cells and fibroblasts from the EM, CX and ECX have the potential to influence microbicide levels that could enhance protection of HIV-target cells (CD4 + T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells) throughout the FRT.